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Summary Report for:
15-1199.01 - Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers

Develop and execute software test plans in order to identify software problems and their causes.

Sample of reported job titles: Product Assurance Engineer, Quality Assurance Analyst (QA Analyst), Quality Assurance Director (QA Director), Software Quality Assurance Engineer (SQA Engineer), Software Quality Engineer, Software Test Engineer

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test system modifications to prepare for implementation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor bug resolution efforts and track successes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Create or maintain databases of known test defects. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Plan test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Review software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Document test procedures to ensure replicability and compliance with standards. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop or specify standards, methods, or procedures to determine product quality or release readiness. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Update automated test scripts to ensure currency. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Investigate customer problems referred by technical support. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install, maintain, or use software testing programs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide feedback and recommendations to developers on software usability and functionality. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor program performance to ensure efficient and problem-free operations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct software compatibility tests with programs, hardware, operating systems, or network environments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install and configure recreations of software production environments to allow testing of software performance. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collaborate with field staff or customers to evaluate or diagnose problems and recommend possible solutions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify program deviance from standards, and suggest modifications to ensure compliance. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design or develop automated testing tools. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Coordinate user or third party testing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform initial debugging procedures by reviewing configuration files, logs, or code pieces to determine breakdown source. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Visit beta testing sites to evaluate software performance. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Evaluate or recommend software for testing or bug tracking. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct historical analyses of test results. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Computer servers — Application servers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Integrated circuit testers — In circuit emulators ICE; Logic analyzers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mainframe computers — Mainframe operating systems; Supercomputers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Network routers — Computer network routers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Application server software — JBoss Application Server; VMWare ESX Server See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Charting software — Microsoft Office Visio See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Configuration management software — IBM Rational ClearCase; Revision control software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Content workflow software — Twiki *; Workflow software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base management system software — Microsoft SQL Server; MySQL software; Oracle software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access; Structured query language SQL See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — Apache Ant; C; JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA; Microsoft Visual Basic (see all 13 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Exchange See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML; IBM WebSphere See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Apple Safari; Microsoft Internet Explorer *; Mozilla Firefox *; Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Firewall software; Network intrusion detection software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — Acresso InstallAnywhere; Apple Cocoa; C++; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl (see all 8 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows; UNIX; VMWare Workstation; Wind River Systems VxWorks (see all 7 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Program testing software — Bugzilla *; JUnit; TestNG; YourKit Java Profiler (see all 18 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Project management software — Atlassian JIRA; Microsoft Project; Microsoft Team Foundation Server See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Unified modeling language UML See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Transaction security and virus protection software — Anti-spyware software; Antivirus software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web platform development software — Apache Tomcat; JavaScript; Microsoft ASP.NET; Ruby on Rails * (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop testing routines or procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop performance metrics or standards related to information technology. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Document operational activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop detailed project plans. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide technical support for software maintenance or use. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Create databases to store electronic data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Test software performance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Install computer software. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Read documents to gather technical information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Document design or development procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide customer service to clients or users. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 70% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 61% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 39% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 61% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 39% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 48% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 48% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 55% responded “Moderately competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Moderate responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
64   Bachelor's degree
14   Associate's degree
9   Master's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: ICR

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Employment data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Industry data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.

Median wages (2014) $40.10 hourly, $83,410 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 206,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 40,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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